When the architect and the project engineer on 100 Norfolk Street—an eye-popping luxury cantilevered multi-unit residential building on Manhattan’s historic Lower East Side—needed extra support to navigate the project’s many complexities, they turned to New Millennium Building Systems. New Millennium is a nationwide manufacturer of steel joists, special profile joists, and steel roof and floor decking, and is a one-stop resource for the broadest range of custom-engineered structural steel building systems. This includes the Versa-Floor™ Long-Span Composite system featuring Deep-Dek®, which was used for the project.
The many challenges on this project straddled both the engineering and project management/logistical aspects of the construction. Zoning height limitations, a neighboring building’s air rights, and narrow side streets were just some of the obstacles to overcome, not to mention the intricate puzzle of securing the on-time steel deck deliveries to meet the hectic construction schedule for this high-end 12-story condo development. Further constraints included the use of a portable crane on-site just once a week due to traffic concerns.
Additionally, from a purely engineering standpoint, the flooring solution had to be something that kept the weight down because of the building’s cantilevered overhangs. The floor deck needed to be able to brace the entire structure, right down to the foundation. According to Marty Williams, New Millennium’s project engineer, “If you make that too heavy, it will be reflected in the cost of the bracing required to support it. A lightweight component was critical in saving structural cost.”
Enabled by the Versa-Floor™ Long-Span Composite system, the design team for the 12-story condominium development overcame strict zoning height limitations by means of greater square footage at the higher elevations. Williams explains, “The system allowed for longer spans compared to other conventional composite floor systems, which was important in order to open up the spaces, and have fewer beams, less obstruction, better sight lines, and taller ceilings—all very helpful when you're selling residences where owners and potential occupants want nothing less than nine-foot ceilings.”
With the aid of New Millennium, ODA Architecture’sdesign vision for this innovative structure was met with engineering know-how and savvy logistics management—a point that cannot be overstated given the complex maze of New York City construction.
Image courtesy of DeSimone
From a product perspective, the Versa-Floor™ system plays a critical role in the overall success of the building construction, with its unique ability to basically stop gravity in such a way that you can stand on the floor and “not fall down to the sidewalk,” as stated by New Millennium’s project manager, Virginia Edelstein. The project’s structural engineering powerhouse, DeSimone Consulting Engineers, chose the long-spanning deep deck composite product, which they have also specified for a number of other New York City-based projects. New Millennium’s team of engineers supported the project with a daily presence on the jobsite and behind-the-scenes expertise—such as showing the workers how to operate one of the tools needed to erect the deck and going over the drawings to make sure everybody was comfortable with what was going on at all phases.
As for the project management, New Millennium’s team, led by Edelstein, provided a creative, experienced perspective in getting all the pieces to fit together. The team coordinated the delicate logistics, including the details of getting the steel to the jobsite, negotiating Manhattan traffic, and delivering deck on certain days of the week—and at specific times of the day—in order to keep the work going smoothly. Edelstein explains one particular challenge, sharing, “The crane used could only be on site on certain days. Norfolk is one of those narrow downtown NYC streets and there just wasn't room given the abundance of cars and a nearby school. So, they only wanted to disrupt that tranquility once a week. That made it difficult because we had to work around bringing loads in at particular time; we couldn't come in early and we couldn't be late. Just that one aspect took a tremendous amount of planning.”
Edelstein continues, “I had to have constant communication with the field as to where they were going to be, on what floor, at what level to estimate time. Our production plant is in Memphis, Tennessee, and on a good day, it is a two-day full ride for a truck driver, plus whatever the traffic is for New York City. So, my portion of the logistics was to coordinate and estimate when they were going to be on a given floor. We had to make sure that Production understood that the material had to be made in a particular time period and then coordinate transportation to the city.”
And, regarding the portable crane, due to safety issues, only a few workers were authorized to operate that piece of equipment in New York City. Edelstein’s job, then, included organizing what day the material was needed to be on site so that they could then secure a crane operator and bring in a portable crane onto the street, close the street to other traffic, etc. She comments, “I was on the logistics end of this job, which is kind of like putting together a Rubik's Cube—trying to make all the colors line up on the same side of the cube at any given time when they really didn't want to be.”
Aside from the obvious benefits of the floor system itself, the result of New Millennium’s hands-on partnership with the architect and engineer, both with the engineering consultancy and providing logistical, behind-the-scenes “magic,” was on-time, on-budget completion in what was a unique building at a unique location. The high-end units have all sold on a project that could have otherwise faced myriad setbacks given the intricacies involved.
Project: 100 Norfolk Street, New York, NY
Square Feet: 50,000
Owner: Adam America with The Naveh Shuster Group and The Horizon Group
Architect: ODA Architecture
Engineer: DeSimone Consulting Engineers
Floor Deck Manufacturer and Project Management: New Millennium Building Systems
Floor Deck System: Deep-Dek®Versa-Floor™ Long-Span Composite System